Muslim police officer sues department for discrimination, alleging his peers called him ‘terrorist’
A Pakastani-American former police officer in Asbury Park, N.J., filed a lawsuit against his police department claiming he was wrongfully terminated and faced discrimination during his over 15-year tenure.
The lawsuit filed Thursday claims Kamil Warraich, the police department’s first Muslim police officer, was repeatedly called a “terrorist” and “Taliban” during his time there, according to NJ.com.
Him seeking to address the issues ultimately lead to his firing, the lawsuit claims.
Warraich’s attorneys did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.
“Mr. Warraich was a trailblazer who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of Asbury Park,” David Castellani, one of Warraich’s lawyers, said in a statement to NJ.com. “Unfortunately … Mr. Warraich faced a hostile work environment created by people within the APPD who did not want to see a dark-skinned police officer.”
Warraich was fired in the summer of 2019 after being at the department since 2004. The department claimed he faced multiple disciplinary charges and failed a fitness for duty test, which he disputes in the lawsuit, according to the news source.
The suit also alleges that city officials and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office inadequately handled his complaints.
However, the racial tensions within the department go beyond Warraich’s dismissal, according to the outlet. He and other predominantly black officers were allegedly kept out of union activities, leading him and other minority officers to form a new union last year.
Warriach said that he pointed out white colleagues were using excessive force in minority communities, and in the lawsuit he alleges that he was encouraged to do so. According to The Force Report by NJ.com, Warriach used excessive force than any other Asbury Park officer from 2012 through 2016, predominantly against black citizens.
The former police officer claims his numbers are high because he worked on the gang unit, and unlike some of his white colleagues, he claims he reports every instance.
“I only used force when it was justified and absolutely necessary,” Warraich wrote in statement to NJ.com.